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Saturday, May 17, 2008

NASCAR star looking at F1

Current NASCAR points leader Kyle Busch has his sights set on an F1 test, SpeedTV.com reports.

Busch, who drives a Toyota in the American stock car series, gave the Japanese manufacturer its first series win earlier this year.

The 23-year-old made his comments from North Carolina, where his team is preparing for this weekend’s NASCAR all-star race at the Lowe’s Motor Speedway.

It wasn’t clear if he is chasing a demonstration or a full-blown test, but Busch said he hopes to be in the car in either November or December.

Busch has been participating in three NASCAR series this season, the Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series and the Craftsman Truck Series.

Busch said he could be interested in a race opportunity if he could stand the physical strain of an F1 car, but added the racing in F1 wasn’t exciting to him because the aerodynamic characteristics of the cars limit passing.

Juan Pablo Montoya, of course, went in the other direction, establishing himself as a rising star on the predominantly oval-based NASCAR series. He has since been joined by several open-wheel stars, including Sam Hornish, Dario Franchitti and Jacques Villeneuve, to varying degrees of success.

The recent history of Americans in Formula One has been a bit underwhelming, Michael Andretti’s aborted season with McLaren in 1993 and Scott Speed’s firing in 2007 the most recent examples. Busch hasn’t made many friends this year in NASCAR, one wonders how well another brash American would fit into the F1 paddock.

Toro Rosso’s new car will result in grid penalty for Vettel

The introduction of the new Toro Rosso at next weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix will have a bit of a negative effect on Sebastian Vettel, who will suffer a five-place grid penalty, as the STR3 requires a brand new gear box.

The 2008 rules require gearboxes to last four races, so the introduction of the new car and it’s gearbox will incur the punishment.

Teammate Sebastien Bourdais is immune as the Frenchman did not complete the last race.

Such a penalty on the notoriously difficult street circuit, with limited to nonexistent passing opportunities, could be disastrous for the German. Don't miss the top stories of the day, subscribe to the SpeedRead Web newspaper now! -- Email SpeedRead -- Learn more about author C.D. Six

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